Wills Warning For Britons With Overseas Property

Specialist Lawyers Say Many Falling Foul Of Foreign Inheritance Rules Due To Lack Of Wills


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

As many people are tempted to buy property abroad over the summer specialist will disputes lawyers are warning Britons to ensure their foreign assets are appropriately protected as many are currently having difficulties with foreign inheritance rules.

Current statistics indicate that 5.6m Britons live abroad but the rules for what happens to property abroad when people died can be complex and cause problems for families and friends forced to wade through foreign probate and conveyancing laws.

Expert will disputes lawyers at Irwin Mitchell act for people whose family members were not aware of the details of foreign inheritance rules and are now having to seek specialist legal advice to resolve issues with how assets have been dealt with abroad.

A recent survey found France, Spain, Italy and USA were the most popular locations in which Britons purchased or were looking to purchase overseas property. But lawyers are warning that local inheritance laws can conflict with British law causing problems for families in future.

One example of such unknown rules is ‘forced heirship’ in France which specifies that certain percentages of a person’s assets must be transferred o specified family members at the time of the person’s death.

Adam Draper, a Partner in the specialist Will, Trust and Estate Disputes team at law firm Irwin Mitchell, says:

Irwin Mitchell research shows that 47 per cent of Britons don’t know how assets are distributed after death, while 54 per cent say they are unsure what accounts and investments their partner or family has.

Adam Draper added:

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in Will, Trust and Estate Disputes.